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News Archive > General > Campaign against clifftop homes

Campaign against clifftop homes

By Warren Wilkins 20th January 2016

Campaign against clifftop homes

A campaign has been launched to protect Newquay’s clifftops from overdevelopment after plans were submitted to build two new houses.

Newquay Cliff Top Protection Plan has started a petition after three and four-bedroomed properties were proposed to be built off Island Crescent, which has so far received more than 500 signatures.

Campaigners believe the applications for the homes should be refused as they would impact on the local natural beauty, are “overbearing” and would result in a loss of sea views. There are also concerns about erosion and how that could affect the cliff face potentially having to be reinforced.

The four-bedroom proposal, which would be a “house for a successful local couple”, is an alternative to plans already given planning permission to construct a dwelling on a vacant plot of land.

The area was formally the site of the Bothwicks Hotel, which was demolished for redevelopment during the 1970s. The construction of a three- bedroom dwelling house would be for a couple to live in “on their retirement in order that the family remains in close proximity”.

Newquay Cliff Top Protection Plan are now urging residents to lodge their objections with Cornwall Council before the closing date of Wednesday, January 27.

Campaigner Tricia Varney said: “These applications are for dwellings to be built at Island Crescent, one for the front and one to the rear.

“It is a cliff top location, prominent when viewed from the beaches and various vantage points along the coastline, from across the bay at the headland near the Huer’s Hut, the hill rolling down from the car park by the bowling green, Belushi’s bar, as people come from the Killacourt towards Island Crescent and even the Barrowfields. The sea view, as you come from Bridge Road by the post office, will also be lost.

“Both applications do not consider the importance of retaining the natural coastal fringe. I would question how deeply the issue of erosion and impact of building such vast developments so close to the cliff edge.

“These applications will impact the local and natural beauty. Yes there has been a precedent set by the approval at committee for a dwelling  – maybe if we had highlighted it more, and were able to gain more local support, then maybe this would not have been approved. The important issues here are to protect Newquay and the site classed as an area of special character.

“This cliff edge, as it flows down to the beach and the top perimeter, has immense and somewhat unique greenery compared to many of our local cliffs, including wildlife which needs us to protect it.

“Could this development, due to its huge impact of size and required vast excavation, require cliff stabilisation akin to that at Great Western underneath the factory shop?

“We should prevent ‘garden grabbing’ to protect the land from being “crammed and over developed”.

“The designs are overbearing due to proximity to the cliff, the size and height, not in keeping in appearance and using flat roofs to attract seagulls and create a negative impact with loss of the sea views, much appreciated by locals and tourists alike.

“These proposed properties are not in keeping with the distinctly attractive house that lies on the land. The access would put extra strain on traffic flow at the bend in the road on Island Crescent which will also have added traffic due to applications.

“If we don’t act now then I am sure we will see further development proposals on the sites which are currently on the market, which are Skerryvore, Island Crescent and the Trebarwith Hotel site on Trebarwith Crescent. It’s time to keep our cliff tops protected and safe from development.”

Newquay Town Council planning committee unanimously voted to object to the plans for the four-bedroomed house at its meeting on Monday after hearing residents’ concerns. Cornwall Council will make a final decision.

Resident Mark Barratt said: “I can’t believe that the council is allowing the continued loss of green space and failing to protect our valuable cliff tops. I want the council to protect the cliffs from overdevelopment, risk of landfall, protect the cliffs’ greenery and wildlife, especially in Newquay. How much longer before we have nothing left and no tourism to sustain our town?”

Resident Jon Goodman said: “I cannot believe that this is even being considered. Right on the edge of a cliff, directly next to another dwelling. The ‘drawers’ decided not to draw the owner’s windows on the plans – this will block light and allow them to be looked upon in their own home.”

Anyone who would like to comment on the plans can visit http://planning.cornwall.gov.uk/online-applications/
The application numbers are PA15/11914 and PA15/11915.

By Warren Wilkins 20th January 2016

Julia 30th July 2016 20:07
Phil Mason, the head of planning at Cornwall, is putting staff under pressure to build more homes and is all for modern clifftop developments in Newquay which are viewed as "prestigious" for the town (and probably for his own CV). I have heard that the planning officers didn´t want this to go ahead but were told to approve it by their managers. Interesting to see what the Inspectors think as they don´t have anything to do with Council and come in from Bristol.
COLIN FRIBBENS 18th October 2017 20:05
I have just seen the news report on BBCSW news. I stayed at the Trebarwith back in 1974 when i was 10 with my parents and loved it. What a surprise to see it again after 43 years. I hope it stays as a hotel so that my wife and i can stay there in the future . good luck with your plans to save the cliff tops. I am with you 100%.
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